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Our Family Meal Plan Week of 23/04 - £62

Sunday, 22 April 2012
Our Meal Plan is slightly late this week and I had to go to the supermarket to get everything instead of getting it delivered online as usual. Thanks to our neighbours for a lift to the supermarket.  I was in London on Thursday and Friday then busy sorting out our house and kids homework on Saturday so I left my planning for this week far to late.  Never mind, it has been done now and we're all set.

The cost of all 42 items I purchased for the Meal Plan this week was £62.58 from Asda on 22/04/2012.  I checked My Supermarket to see how much my shopping would've cost elsewhere and a comparable shop would've cost £72.74 at Tesco and £74.58 at Sainsbury's.

Breakfasts during the week will be cereal or toast and spread with a piece of fruit, nothing fancy or faffy. I will probably bake some Cinnamon and Fruit Bagels so we can have those toasted for breakfast too. On the weekend we’ll probably have pancakes or crumpets because we’ll have more time.

Lunches will be ham and homemade chutney rolls, scone swirls or tortilla wraps with carrot, celery and cucumber sticks accompanied by herbed yoghurt dip. Packed lunches will also have a piece or two of fruit and a baked treat. I’ve bought a large gammon and will cook this to have on sandwiches and also in some of the dinners this week.

Lunches on the weekend will be baked potatoes with baked beans and cheese and baked stuffed sweet potatoes.


Creamy Bacon and Vegetable Pasta - Monday

500g spaghetti
300g bacon
400g frozen chopped spinach
Handful or 2 of frozen mixed vegetables
300ml pot crème fraîche

Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil, add the spaghetti and cook following pack instructions. When the spaghetti has about 3 minutes left to cook toss in a handful or two of frozen mixed vegetables.

Meanwhile, in a deep frying pan, fry the bacon for a couple of minutes then add the garlic, fry until the bacon is slightly crisp. Add the chopped spinach and 2 tablespoons of water, then cover and cook until the spinach has defrosted.

Remove the lid, stir everything together, season to taste, then cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

Drain the spaghetti and vegetables and add to the bacon and spinach mixture with the crème fraîche. Stir to thoroughly combine and serve immediately.

Fish Pie - Tuesday

1 onion, finely chopped
1 pepper, diced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
600ml water
1 vegetable or fish stock cube
1 tsp mild curry powder
200g rice
1 large tin of tuna or salmon in spring water (drained)
4 hard-boiled eggs, cut into quarters
100g grated cheese
5 potatoes, cooked and mashed
400g mixed vegetables to serve

Preheat oven to 180C. Sauté onion, pepper and garlic in oil. Mix water, stock cube and curry powder then add to onion, pepper and garlic mixture. Add rice, stirring occasionally until rice has cooked through. Season. Pour in fish and mix until combined. Put the mixture in a casserole dish. Cover with the egg quarters and spread over the mashed potato. Groove the mash with a fork. Sprinkle over the cheese and put in the oven for around 15 - 20 minutes until the cheese has melted and the fie pie is piping hot. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Chicken Casserole - Wednesday

1 onion, finely chopped
1 pepper, diced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 Tblsp dried mixed herbs
100g diced bacon
1 Tblsp flour
2 chicken stock cubes dissolved in 1 Litre of boiling water
1 Tblsp mustard
8 chicken drumsticks
4 large potatoes, cooked and mashed
a couple of blocks of frozen spinach
300g frozen mixed vegetables

Preheat oven to 180C. In a casserole pot on the hob sauté the onion, pepper and garlic in a little oil for a couple of minutes, add the mixed herbs and bacon. Cook until pepper and onions are soft. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Take the pan off the heat and slowly mix in the stock and mustard. Put back on the heat and make sure everything has dissolved and is well mixed. Add chicken drumsticks then cook in the oven for 45 mins. Remove from the oven and add the frozen mixed vegetables and spinach. Let these heat through with the casserole on the hob for 5 minutes or so before serving. Serve the chicken casserole with mashed potato.

Bean Burritos - Thursday

8 tortillas/flat breads
2 tins chilli beans
3 fresh tomatoes, sliced
diced cucumber
lettuce leaves
small pot of low fat sour cream
1 cup (120g) grated cheese

Heat chilli beans in a pot whilst tortillas are warming in the oven. Put chilli beans onto tortillas and top with tomato, cucumber, lettuce, a little sour cream and a sprinkling of cheese. Fold up and serve.

Macaroni Cheese - Friday

500g pasta shapes
1 onion – finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 pepper, diced
150g bacon
2 Tblsp butter
2 Tblsp flour
350ml hot milk
200g grated cheese
200g frozen mixed vegetables
a couple of chunks of frozen spinach

Preheat oven to 180C. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, adding the frozen mixed vegetables for the last 3 minutes of the pasta cooking time. Whilst the pasta is cooking, sauté the onion, pepper and garlic in a little oil. Add the bacon and seasoning. In a separate saucepan slowly cook the butter and flour stirring constantly. When mixture looks a bit like biscuit crumbs add the hot milk and whisk until the mixture thickens. Add 200g of grated cheese and simmer for 5 mins, stirring frequently. Add the softened onion, garlic and bacon mixture to the cheese sauce and mix well to combine. Pour the cheese sauce mixture on to the drained pasta and mixed vegetables and stir through until combined. Serve as is or with a side salad.

Bacon and Vegetable Frittata - Saturday

1 pepper diced
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
100g bacon
6 eggs
200g frozen mixed vegetables
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

Preheat the oven to 200°C/ fan 180°C/ gas 6.

Simmer the potatoes and sweet potatoes in a pan of boiling water for 10 minutes, then drain and leave to cool slightly before slicing thinly.

Meanwhile, put a 25cm non-stick ovenproof frying pan on the hob over a moderate heat. Dry fry the bacon for 5 minutes or so until browned. Remove then from the pan and set aside. Add the onion, pepper and garlic to the pan, and fry in the remaining bacon fat for about 5 minutes until the onion and pepper has softened.

Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl and the softened onion, pepper and garlic. Carefully fold in the potatoes, pumpkin and frozen mixed vegetables. Pour the frittata mixture back into the frying pan and cook over a low-medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until it has cooked through and is set.

Roast Chicken - Sunday

4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
8 chicken drumsticks
100ml oil
1 Tblsp chopped fresh rosemary and thyme
1 chicken stock cube
1 Tblsp mustard
125ml boiling water
400g frozen mixed vegetables, steamed or cooked in boiling water.

Preheat oven to 180C. Place potatoes in cold, salted water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 mins then drain. Put the potatoes, pumpkin and chicken in a roasting dish and brush over/lightly spray with a little oil. Use separate roasting dishes for the chicken and vegetables if you haven't got a roasting dish big enough to fit everything in. Sprinkle over the fresh herbs. Roast in the oven for around 40 minutes until the chicken and potatoes are golden brown and crunchy.

To make gravy:

Mix cornflour, stock, mustard and water then add to the juice from the cooked chicken. Stir over a low heat until the mixture thickens.

Serve the chicken with roast potatoes and vegetables. Pour over some gravy if you like.

Baking and Treats

Peanut Butter and Choc Chip Biscuits (I'll make 2 batches)

1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Beat the peanut butter and sugar together in a bowl. Mix in the beaten egg thoroughly, then mix in the chocolate chips. The mixture will be quite stiff. I usually use my hand held electric mixer.

Roll tablespoonfuls into balls and put on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Flatten firmly with a fork.

Bake at 180C for 15-18 minutes until the biscuits are cooked and lightly browned. Transfer to a cake rack to cool and then keep in an airtight container.

Rice Pudding (Lunchbox treat, afterschool snack or pudding)

600ml milk
65g long grain white rice
pinch of salt
50g white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
50g sultanas or mixed fruit (optional)

In a medium sized, heavy bottomed saucepan combine the milk and rice with a pinch of salt. Place saucepan over a fairly high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the rice is tender. This usually takes about 25 minutes. Stir the milk mixture frequently using a heatproof rubber spatula or wooden spoon to stop the rice from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.

When the rice is tender (al dente) take the saucepan off the heat and sugar, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon. Mix well to combine. Return the saucepan to the heat and cook until the rice pudding thickens, this should take about 5 - 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add the sultanas if you are using them. Spoon the pudding into a bowl to cool and cover with clingfilm to stop a skin forming. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days. To make this into more of a Mullerice type treat add some jam or golden syrup to swirl through the rice pudding. You could also add dried apricots or dates instead of sultanas if you have some in your store cupboard.


3 tsp instant yeast
310ml lukewarm water
2 Tbsp honey
1½ tsp salt
1 cup wholemeal bread flour
2 cups white bread flour

Measure the first five ingredients into a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Cover and leave for 15 minutes or longer in a warm place.

Stir in the white bread flour, then add extra flour or water if necessary, until you have a dough just firm enough to knead.

Knead the dough thoroughly, using the dough hook of an electric mixer or kneading by hand on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes, until you have a soft dough which is smooth and springs back when pressed gently.

Turn the dough in 2-3 teaspoons of oil in bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface for a minute or two then cut it into 8 equal pieces. Roll each into a snake 26cm-28cm long. Dampen the ends with water and press them together firmly, forming the classic bagel shape. Place the rings on individual squares of baking paper and leave in a warm place for 10-15 minutes.

During the proving time bring a large pan containing water 10cm deep to a simmer. Carefully lower 2 or 3 bagels at a time into the boiling water, then lift away the paper, and cook for 30-45 seconds per side, turning carefully once. Drain the bagels on kitchen towels then put them on a large baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper – make sure you leave some space for them to spread.

Brush as far down the sides of the bagels as you can with egg glaze (mix 1free range egg with 1Tbsp water and ½ tsp sugar) and sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame seeds.

Bake at 220C for 10 -12 minutes until they’re evenly browned. Cool on a rack and serve warm or toasted, within 24 hours of making them. You can freeze the bagels in an airtight container once they’re cold.

Cinnamon and Dried Fruit Bagels

Measure the bagel ingredients (from the plain bagel recipe) into a mixing bowl and add ½ cup packed brown sugar, 1 tablespoon each of cinnamon and mixed spice, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Mix and knead the same as the plain bagel recipe. Knead until smooth and then knead through the fruit.

Shopping List
42 items: £62.58

Packets and CerealsGuide price in £
1x ASDA Smartprice Spaghetti (500g) 35p
1x Silver Spoon Granulated Sugar (1Kg) 98p
1x Asda Wholefoods Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg) 60p
1x ASDA Wholemeal Bread Flour (1.5Kg) £1.28
1x ASDA Smartprice Self Raising Flour (1.5Kg) 52p
1x ASDA Smartprice Long Grain Rice (1Kg) 40p
1x ASDA Smartprice Pasta Shapes (500g) 30p
1x Asda Home Baking Easy Bake Yeast (6 per pack - 42g) 64p
1x Sunnybisk Wheat Biscuits (48 per pack - 864g) £1.78

Tins, Jars and Cooking
1x Branston Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce (4x410g) £1.00
1x ASDA Wild Pacific Pink Salmon (418g) £2.17
2x ASDA Chosen by You Chilli Beans (290g) £1.36
2x ASDA Smartprice Crunchy Peanut Butter (340g) £1.24

1x ASDA Chopped Spinach Leaves (1Kg) £1.12
2x ASDA Chosen by You Freshly Frozen Mixed Vegetables (1Kg) £2.20

Dairy and Eggs
1x ASDA Crème Fraîche (300ml) £1.00
1x ASDA Soured Cream (300ml) £1.00
6x ASDA British Semi Skimmed Milk 4 Pints (2.27L) £6.00 any 2 FOR £2.00
1x Anchor Butter (250g) £1.00
2x ASDA Smartprice Low Fat Natural Yogurt (500g) £1.10
2x ASDA Chosen by You English Mature Cheddar (400g) £4.00 any 2 FOR £4.00
1x Suffolk Farm Large Free Range Eggs (6) £1.00 any 2 FOR £2.00
1x Suffolk Farm Medium Free Range Eggs (6) £1.00 any 2 FOR £2.00
1x Philadelphia Light with Cadburys Chocolate (160g) £1.00

Fruit and Vegetables
1x ASDA Smartprice Mixed Fruit (500g) 64p
1x ASDA Salad Tomatoes (750g) £1.40
20 ASDA Smartprice Apples by Weight (100g) £2.00
20 ASDA Bananas by Weight (100g) £1.36
20 ASDA Carrots by Weight (100g) £1.56
7 ASDA Onions by Weight (100g) 53.2p
2x ASDA White Potatoes (2.5Kg) £2.00 any 2 FOR £2.00
2x ASDA Whole Cucumber £1.80
2x ASDA Round Lettuce £1.14
2x ASDA Celery £1.36
1x ASDA Garlic Loose 26p
1x ASDA Smartprice Peppers (700g) £1.50
1x ASDA Spring Onions 67p
1x ASDA Sweet Potatoes (1Kg) £1.20
2x ASDA Mandarins (700g) £2.00 any 2 FOR £2.00

Meat, Fish and Poultry
15 ASDA Smartprice Gammon Joint by Weight (100g) £5.67
1x Banham Poultry Chicken Thighs (1Kg) £3.36
1x Banham Poultry Chicken Drumsticks (1Kg) £2.98


  1. It's just all so damned organised! Do you ever fall by the wayside and think, "Sod it, let's have Pizza Hut tonight?"

    1. The closest I get to that is homemade pizza, hastily made macaroni cheese or baked potatoes with beans and cheese. Takeaways are too expensive for us :o( I have a few homemade ready meals in the freezer that I can put in the oven if I can't be bothered cooking.


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